There is a child in my son's first grade class who is a serious problem. The kind of child any teacher would dread having in their class. Halfway through FIRST grade and he's already been suspended numerous times. I've heard of a group of parents that is even trying to get him expelled. This kid is bad news - not yet 7 years old, he's already a pro at theft, extortion, lying, fighting, you name it. If you looked at his school record you'd never believe he was just a first grader. He's gone after nearly every child in the class in turn, mine included, and is now at the point where he must sit at a special desk next to the teacher because he can't be left next to the other children. There's no father in the picture (I've heard rumors he's trouble himself, it wouldn't surprise me) and the mother is apparently completely useless. The entire class, bar one, avoids this kid like the plague. They don't like him, they've all been burned enough not to trust him, and they're scared of him. The only one that isn't is another little hooligan who is following right along in his path.
Given all of this, I was awfully surprised when Itai came home with a birthday invitation for this kid's party. He had no interest in going and I certainly had no interest in sending him. A few quiet checks around revealed that none of the other children (except for the junior bully) had any intention of going either, nor would their parents let them go if they did.
I definitely didn't want Itai at this party, and all his friends' parents seem to have felt the same way, but I still can't help but feel sorry for this boy, to have invited the whole class (or rather most of it, she ran out of invitations partway through!) and have no one show up. How very sad for him. And a rejection like that, deserved as it may be, is hardly likely to elicit any kind of behavioral revelation. Quite the opposite in all likelihood.
I have to wonder - what on earth was his mother thinking to set her son up for that kind of disappointment? Is she so completely clueless that she honestly didn't know? How can she be? Does she have any idea whatsoever what is going on with her son? Doesn't she see that he's not inviting friends over, not getting invitations to other children's homes? I hope for his sake that there were at least all sorts of cousins there to distract him from the fact that no one from his class came.
What a strange position this is to be in, disliking him and pitying him at the same time...